Friday, October 30, 2015

Utility Bill Nightmare

Tips to Lower your Utility/Energy Bill and put money in YOUR pocket

Tips to Lower your Utility/Energy Bill

1. Adjust your thermostat.  As a rule of thumb, every degree you lower a thermostat's set temperature in the winter or raise it in the summer will save 1% of energy costs over an 8 hour period.

Wisconsin weather is calling for thermostats to be turned on soon.... so lower your thermostat at night and use extra blankets on your bed. Not home during the day? Then adjust accordingly.

2.  Turn down the water heater temperature to a maximum 120 degrees.  Lower it to 80 degrees if you are going to be away from home for more than a couple days.  If you have a gas water heater, this tactic will save you gas, not electricity.

3. The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy users in the home.  To operate at maximum efficiency the door should only be opened briefly and adjust the COLD control according to the manufacturer's directions.  Vacuum refrigerator coils to remove excess dust.

4. Unplug appliances like microwaves, stereo's, VCRs and printers that do not have to be plugged in all the time, but use energy when plugged in.  Simply unplugging these appliances can save a lot of energy.

5.  Use the microwave as much as possible, instead of heating up the stove or oven.

6. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with high efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, which use from about one quarter to one third the energy to produce the same amount of light. Though most cost more than conventional lights, they last up to 13x longer.

7. Don't use nightlights that remain plugged in an outlet. Instead, use motion sensor night lights that only light when they detect motion.

8. To help lower water bill, install low-flow shower heads and toilets.  Take shorter showers and turn the water off while brushing teeth.  Collect rain water in a container and use that water to water your plants.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Its trick or treat weekend -- treat yourself to something nice, perhaps a new home!

Did you hear that?

What’s Causing Those Footsteps in the Attic and Other Spooky Sounds and Smells?

By: John Riha

Are you haunted by strange noises and weird odors? With the proper maintenance, you’ve got more than a ghost of a chance to rest easy.

Creaking and Popping in the Night

The many materials that make up your house — wood framing, plywood, glass, metal ducts, nails, plumbing pipes — all expand and contract at different rates.

When a house cools at night, these materials may move slightly, rubbing against each other and making noises. Occasionally, they’ll contract with an audible pop.

These sounds tend to be more noticeable in fall, when warm days give way to rapidly cooling nights. The bad news? Not much you can do about it. The good news? Those sounds are harmless and normal.
Zombie Odor

It’s either time to throw out the garbage, or you’d better call your gas utility to check on your gas lines and connections.

Natural gas is odorless, but natural gas suppliers add a foul-smelling odorant -- butyl mercaptan — to alert occupants to any leaks. The smell is like rotten eggs.

Leaks can occur at your gas-fired water heater, fireplace, clothes dryer, and any gas line. Leaking natural gas is potentially dangerous — leave the house and call your natural gas provider to assess the situation. Most utility companies perform safety checks for free.

Footsteps in the Attic
Amplified by an unfinished attic space, a raccoon or even a good-size squirrel on your roof might sound like an ax murderer is doing the polka overhead.

These rooftop transits are normal for critters — roofs offer a nice long unobstructed highway.

Make sure your soffit, rafter, and gable roof vents are covered with screens and in good shape, or your rooftop buddies might find their way into your attic for real. Trim back branches that provide critters easy access to your roof.

Something’s Burning

You can smell the odor of burnt wood, but the smoke detectors aren’t going off and there’s no smoke in the house. The culprit could be your fireplace — even if you haven’t had a fire for days.

The probable cause is a drafty chimney and negative air pressure in your home, meaning that outside air is infiltrating down your chimney, bringing stale burnt smells with it.

Stop drafts by making sure your damper has a good seal. Regulate air pressure by adding more cold air return ducts to your HVAC system. You’ll get rid of the odor and save on your energy bill, too.

Moaning and Clattering

These classic spooky sounds often show up when the wind blows and there’s a storm brewing.

Vents for clothes dryers, bathrooms, and water heaters exit out the roof or the side of the house. To prevent backdrafts, these vents have dampers — flaps designed to let vented air out and prevent outside air from coming in. These flaps sometimes move and rattle in high winds.

Because dampers often are located in attics or in between floor joists, the sound can be difficult to pinpoint. You may need a new damper ($85).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Real Estate for sale - N6181 Country View Lane, Sullivan

Whats lurking in your home?

Do Halloween Dangers Lurk at Your Entryway?

Is your front entryway ready for Halloween visitors? Keep everything fun and accident-free with these seven safety tips.

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween -- as long as it’s just a trick.

To help you avoid any real-life scares -- such as falls, fires, and traffic accidents -- around your property this All Hallows Eve, play it safe while you’re setting up your Halloween lights and decorations.

Here are seven simple precautions recommended by John Pettibone, curator of Hammond Castle, a Gloucester, Mass., mansion that draws thousands to its renowned 20-room haunted house every Halloween season.

1. Light the Scene

Providing plenty of illumination ensures that your visitors can see where they’re walking, helping to avoid missteps and falls. Pettibone suggests using the highest wattage bulbs your outdoor lighting fixtures can safely take (check the label on the socket), and adding landscape lights every few feet along your front walk.

“We use the solar-powered kind because there’s no wiring needed,” he says. “Just push them into the ground, let them soak up the sun during the day, and they’ll light up the walk after dark.”

2. Secure the Footing

Clear your walk, steps, and stoop of any obstructions that could trip youngsters focused more on tricks and treats than watching where they’re going. That means moving potted mums and jack o’lanterns out of the way, and hammering down any nail heads protruding out of your steps.

If you have a concrete stoop, which can get slippery when wet, apply friction tape ($16 for a 60-foot roll of 1-inch-wide tape) to ensure stable footing, says Pettibone. He also stocks up on chemical ice melt ($20 for a 50-lb. bag) just in case of an early freeze.

3. Tighten the Railings

If your porch railings are wobbly or broken, family members and friends may know not to lean too heavily on them, but Halloween visitors won’t. So hire a contractor or handyman to fix the problem. It’ll make your home safer for guests all year round. Because more strangers come to your front door this night than the rest of the year combined, now is the time to take care of it.

4. Eliminate Fire Hazards

Don’t put real candles into your carved pumpkins or paper lanterns. “That’s a fire waiting to happen,” says Pettibone. Instead, pick up a bulk pack of LED-bulb faux candles, which emit a yellowish, flickering, battery-powered light that looks amazingly similar to the real thing -- without the danger.

5. Secure your Property

To prevent burglaries and Halloween pranks -- especially on mischief night the previous evening -- make sure to keep all windows and doors (other than your main door) locked shut.

You might have an electrician add motion-sensor lights around your property, so anyone who walks down your driveway or around into the backyard will be discouraged from intruding any farther.

6. Set the Scene

In addition to spooky items like cotton cobwebs and half-buried skeletons, consider a few safety-related scene-setters. Pettibone suggests propping open the screen or storm door so it doesn’t get in the way when there’s a big group of kids congregated on your stoop. “We use yellow caution tape to tie open the door,” he says. “You can order it online and it works well with the Halloween theme.” A 1,000-ft. roll of 3-inch-wide caution tape is about $8.

You’ll also want a working doorbell, so if yours is broken, either hire an electrician or handyman to fix it -- or install a wireless doorbell in its place.

7. Enhance Street Safety

Four times as many child pedestrians get killed on Halloween night than a normal night. So limit the danger as much as you can by clearing parked cars off the curb to allow better visibility and placing a reflective “watch for children sign” at the edge of the road. For for high-traffic roads in Halloween-intensive neighborhoods, consider posting an adult in the street with a hand-held traffic control light to help maintain safety.

Read more:
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Create a Kid-friendly Street

6 Strategies to Create a Kid-friendly Street
6 Strategies to Create a Kid-friendly Street

Neighbors with and without children can have very different ideas for what constitutes a harmonious community. Avoid an “Us vs. Them” mentality with these tips to foster a kid-friendly culture on your street.
Be inclusive
Don’t exclude neighbors without kids from your social circle. For example, offer to have your kids help the retirees down the road with yard work. They’ll appreciate the help and will likely be more patient if your kids start a ruckus with their friends.
Use sign language
Placing one of the popular “Drive like your kids live here” signs in your yard is a friendly reminder for neighbors to keep an eye on the road and their foot off the gas.
Start a community Facebook page
No doubt, your kids can help you with this one if you’re not social media savvy. Posting family announcements, neighborhood news, or items for sale can boost a feeling of community and inclusivity.
Summer flicks
Neighborhood gatherings can be beneficial for your kids’ social lives and your own. Hang a sheet over the garage, set out the beach chairs and host a “bike-in” kid-friendly movie screening. Don’t forget the popcorn and Twizzlers!
Work together
When concerns for your child’s safety or enjoyment of the neighborhood arise, gather other parents to bring the issues to the HOA. This is where fostering community will benefit you most: It’s important you’re able to raise your concerns and ideas to neighbors without everyone splitting into tribes.
Party on
Throw a block party for every season to help neighbors, and neighborhood kids, get to know one another. Try lining the street with luminarias in the fall. Or kicking off summer with a bike parade. Create a friendly atmosphere so that neighbors will come to you with problems rather than letting them stew.
Your Realtor will have the inside scoop on which neighborhoods have established a great community. Find a RE/MAX agent

Monday, October 26, 2015

Its a great idea!

‎5 Reasons You Should Sell Your House TODAY!

Selling your house in today’s market can be extremely difficult. It is for that reason that every seller should take advantage of each and every opportunity that appears. Each fall, such an opportunity presents itself. This fall, that opportunity may be just too good to pass up.

Below are five reasons you should consider when pricing your house to sell in the next 90 days. Meet with
A RE/MAX REALTY CENTER AGENT and mortgage professional today and see whether it is the right move for you and your family.

1. Entering this time of year, the buyers are more serious.
We all realize that buyers are not quick to pull the trigger on the purchase of a home today. There is no sense of urgency with the supply of eligible properties at all time highs. However, at this time of year, the ‘lookers’ are at the stores doing their holiday shopping. The home buyers left in the market are serious and are more apt to make a purchasing decision. Less showings – but to more motivated purchasers.

2. If you are moving up, you can save thousands.
The Chicago Tribune stated in an article last week that sellers who want to ‘trade up’ should act now:

It could be a bigger house, different neighborhood or a better school district, but it comes with a higher price tag. Do the math; this might be the right time.

A home that was once worth $300,000 may now be worth $240,000 in a market where prices have fallen 20 percent. Wow, you think, the seller is taking a bath. But that seller may also be a prospective buyer who wants a house that once was valued at $400,000. With an equivalent market drop and a realistic listing price, that house may now sell for $320,000. So, in effect, the person is losing $60,000 on the sale of one home but coming out ahead $20,000 on the purchase of another.

Keep in mind the spread may be even greater. There’s a smaller pool of potential buyers for more expensive homes, so sellers may be more willing to cut their price to get a deal done.

3. Interest rates just fell again – to 4.19%.
Professor Karl E. Case, the founder of the Case Shiller Pricing Index in an article in the New York Times last month actually did the math for us:

Four years ago, the monthly payment on a $300,000 house with 20 percent down and a mortgage rate of about 6.6 percent was $1,533. Today that $300,000 house would sell for $213,000 and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with 20 percent down would carry a rate of about 4.2 percent and a monthly payment of $833 … housing has perhaps never been a better bargain.

4. You beat the rush of inventory that is coming next year.
Every year there is an increase of inventory which comes to market from January through April as homeowners put their houses up for sale in preparation for the spring market. 

You won’t have to worry about this increasing competition if you sell now.

5. You have less ‘discounted’ inventory with which to compete.
This year, sellers of non-distressed properties have been given an early holiday present. With banks declaring a suspension on the sale of many distressed properties (foreclosures), there has been a large supply of discounted properties removed from competition. No one knows how long this self imposed moratorium will last. However, while it does, every homeowner has a better chance of selling their property.

Bottom Line

If you are looking to sell in the near future, there may not be a more opportune time than this fall. Serious buyers, great move-up deals and less competition from foreclosures creates the perfect selling situation. Don’t miss it! 

Article compliments of The KCM Crew 

Applying for a mortgage?

Applying for a mortgage? Make sure you can answer these 6 questions
Applying for a mortgage? Make sure you can answer these 6 questions

Lenders will perform extensive research into your financial history before they approve you mortgage application. Prepare for your meeting with a loan officer by finding the answers to the following questions:
1. What is your credit score?
Not only should you know the score, you should take a look at the items on your record. Say you missed the final electric bill from your last apartment and it ended up in collections. You can call the agency and ask them to remove it from your report (they’re under no obligation to do so, but it’s worth a shot). It’s also important to check for instances of mistaken identity, especially if you have a common name. And never pay for your credit score: You’re legally entitled to a free report every 12 months.
2. What is your annual income?
Don’t forget to add in income earned through bonuses and investments. Track down your most recent W2s and tax returns for easy reference.
3. How much debt are you in?
Tally up all of those credit cards, car loans, student loans and other monthly payments. This will be important information to help you and the lender determine your debt-to-income ratio, a tool for figuring out how large of a mortgage is appropriate.
4. What are you worth?
Lenders will want to see documentation of your assets, including automobiles, investments and income properties. Did you recently receive an inheritance? Loan a family member money? Be ready to explain any large deposits or withdrawals.
5. How much can you put down?
All this financial reckoning will help you determine how much cash you’re able — and willing — to spend on a down payment. If family members plan to help, the lender will most likely require a letter from them.
6. How much house can you afford?
A general rule of thumb: Your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, HOA, etc.) should not take up more than 28 percent of your income before taxes. There are plenty of online calculators to help give you an idea of what your monthly mortgage payment will be.
An experienced Realtor can help you find a lender and prepare to apply for a mortgage. Find a RE/MAX agent

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tricks to Help Sell Your Home in Autumn

6 Tricks to Help Sell Your Home in Autumn

6 Tricks to Help Sell Your Home in Autumn
Mon, October 12, 2015
It's easy to boost buyers' impression of your home in new, inexpensive ways with each season. Here are a few things you can do in the fall to make it as inviting as a basket of Halloween candy.
1. Light it up.
Shorter days and longer shadows mean you need to be particularly careful to maximize natural light with open drapes and blinds, and add more light where needed with floor and tabletop lamps. Replace any burned-out bulbs in outdoor lights. And schedule showings earlier in the day, when the light is stronger. Adequate lighting makes a bigger difference than you might think.
2. Rake in the leaves (and the buyers).
Keep up with your yard work to help hike curb appeal. Clean up the leaves, and trim back any overgrown or dead plants. Cut back trees and hedges that hide or overshadow windows and porches.
3. Stash the toys.
Store all those pool toys, bikes and croquet sets. A less-cluttered yard appears larger. Leave the grill, though. One that's shiny and clean can help buyers see the possibilities of living out their hamburger-and-steak fantasies. If you have nice patio furniture, arranging it around a fire pit – even just a portable or tabletop one – creates a warm, social atmosphere.
4. Mum’s the word.
They’re cheap. They’re cheerful. And they’re hard to kill. A pot or two of orange or gold chrysanthemums can brighten up your porch, deck and steps. Pumpkins also can add a bright, seasonal touch as well, but be careful not to overdo it. You're decorating a home, not a department store.
5. Burn, baby, burn.
If your home has a fireplace, now’s the time to let it shine. Of course, you probably don't want to light a blaze for showings, just in case the fire's unattended between appointments. But you can make sure it’s clean. Tasteful fall dĂ©cor, like a simple vase of pinecones can add a nice seasonal touch to the mantle or hearth. If your agent will be hosting an open house, a crackling fire with lots of comfy seating can be a great touch.
6. Two words: pumpkin spice.
Don’t worry, there’s no need to actually bake a pie. Before showings, simply burn scented candles with seasonal aromas, like apple, cinnamon and ginger, to add to your home’s coziness.
If you're looking for more personalized recommendations for selling your homefind a local RE/MAX agent who can help you show your home at its best.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Features That Date Your Home

7 Features That Date Your Home
7 Features That Date Your Home
There’s a fine – and often subjective—line between “vintage” and “dated” when it comes to home features. Buyers tend to be willing to pay more for a contemporary-looking property. But how do you determine whether to invest in an update? Here are a few features it’s pretty safe to say are long past their expiration date.
1. Popcorn ceilings
Also known as acoustic, or cottage cheese ceilings, they were styled using a popular spray-on ceiling finish for decades. Fortunately, the finish is easy enough to remove using a variety of DIY methods.
2. Tiled countertops
Even if they’re not from the 40s or 50s, once you’ve wasted time scrubbing grout clean, you’ll understand why these should go.
3. Brass
Back in the 80s, brass fixtures shone from everywhere they could be screwed or plugged in. That kind of home bling worked back when everyone wondered who shot J.R. To appeal to today’s buyer, update to a more neutral shade such as black or gray, or you can go with the very trendy copper.
4. Mauve
Also known as dusty rose, in the 80s this color infested everything from walls and carpets to Don Johnson’s “Miami Vice” blazers. Try swapping out for more neutral colors.
5. Short backsplashes
Popular in the 90s, colored glass and funky tile short backsplashes added color to kitchens. But they also visually shortened the kitchen walls. Replace them with tiles that reach all the way to the ceiling to make the space look larger.
6. Light wood cabinets
They were everywhere in the 90s, but are a quick, inexpensive update. Just grab some paint or stain from the hardware store.
7. Wood paneling
Generally speaking, if you can envision Marsha, Cindy and Jan giggling in front of it, it needs to go.
Not sure what to scrape, paint or replace? Your Realtor can help suggest what updates may be worth the investment.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Reduce Stress When Buying or Selling a Home

7 Ways to Reduce Stress When Buying or Selling a Home

Research has shown that buying or selling a home can be one of life’s most stressful events — right up there with filing for bankruptcy or getting a divorce. Preparation is the key to reducing anxiety. Here are a few tips:
1. Choose your agent carefully
An experienced pro will be prepared for every twist in the road, minimizing stress for you.
2. Home buyers: List before looking
Create and prioritize a list of “wants” and “needs” of home features before you begin touring properties. Waiting to think about what you’re truly looking for in a home until the showing will put you on the spot, creating anxiety.
3. Home buyers: Get mortgage preapproval
Having your finances ready eliminates white-knuckled waiting periods, or unpleasant surprises from lenders after you’ve found your dream home.
4. Don’t take things personally
It’s not you, it’s them. Or the market. Or the lender. Try not to take it personally if buyers value your home for less than what you’re asking, or if a seller rejects what you believe is a perfectly reasonable offer.
5. Keep things in perspective
Consider the worst-case scenario. Will you have to forage for food? Will you need to sell a kidney? Probably not. Other buyers will eventually materialize. Or you’ll find another home you love just as much as the one that got away.
6. Focus on something else
Give yourself a break and indulge in an activity that requires the undivided attention of your body and mind. Yoga lessons, anyone?
7. Find a four-legged friend
Petting and playing with animals is clinically proven to lower your blood pressure. And they won’t interrupt if you need to vent.
Talking things through with your Realtor is another way to de-stress. Find a RE/MAX agent

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Well, HELLO there

7 Ways to Meet Your New Neighbors
7 Ways to Meet Your New Neighbors

Now that you’ve settled into your new home, it’s time to the meet the neighbors. Here are a few tips to break the ice. Go ahead, don’t be shy!
1. Throw an informal happy hour
After all that unpacking (or staring exhaustedly at those boxes that need to be unpacked) hosting a party may be the last thing you want to do. But a casual gathering involves little effort. A couple bottles of wine, a few snacks and you’re set to meet new friends. Plus this is the one time you can get away with a disorganized house and still have people over — take advantage.
2. Get some fresh air
Hang out in your front yard or on your porch. Neighbors are much more likely to stop by to say hello if they see you sitting outside with a cup of coffee than if you’re inside and they have to knock on your door.
3. Go exploring
Jog through your new neighborhood instead of hitting the gym. Neighbors will at least wave, if not stop you for a quick chat.
4. Puppy pride
Walking your dog, or playing with him or her in your yard or local dog park, is an excellent way to meet people, especially other dog lovers.
5. Cruise garage sales
You might not want to actually buy anything since you just gave away a lot of accumulated junk before your move, but perusing garage sales is a great way to meet your neighbors. Check out the local paper or Craigslist to find out where to go.
6. Hang out with your kids
Volunteering at school or chatting with other parents at the playground can result in new friends for you and your kids.
7. Dust off those oven mitts
Bringing homemade cookies to the neighbors makes a great first impression. If you haven’t unpacked your kitchen, bakery or store-bought goodies will also be appreciated. Don’t forget to stop by with dog treats to make new canine friends as well!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

An attractive outdoor space...

8 Staging Tips for Small Outdoor Spaces
8 Staging Tips for Small Outdoor Spaces
An attractive outdoor space, even if it’s just big enough to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or evening cocktail, can be a major selling point for potential buyers. Here are a few suggestions for maximizing your outdoor living space.
1. Floor it.
If you have a small outdoor area, it won’t break the bank to invest in higher quality tiles or stones. Snap-in deck tiles are another option for adding a touch of class.
2. Envision clarity.
When it comes to tables, go for glass-topped: It will help create the illusion of a larger space.
4. Watch your back.
Chairs and benches with more open backs don’t interrupt sight lines as much. They’ll keep your space feeling open, and looking larger.
5. Focus.
Creating a focal point in a small space adds visual interest. A simple piece of garden art, a small flowering tree or a tiny water feature in a corner can add style and distract buyers from focusing on square footage.
6. Scale down.
The world’s largest outdoor chaise lounge may be a napper’s dream, but it won’t do much to help your patio or deck. Choose outdoor furniture scaled to set off your space, not smother it. You can even find fire pits in smaller sizes.
7. Get vertical.
Wall gardens help add green without sacrificing space. Wall art made from succulent plants is another low-maintenance option for adding foliage, and drawing attention to the edges of your space, which helps visually enlarge it.
8. Don’t hide the grill.
A clean barbecue can help buyers imagine their own outdoor meals. Unless you have a grill or smoker large enough to hold the entire pig, or if your grill is in disrepair, keep it out.
Ready to show off your newly decorated deck or patio? Start by finding a RE/MAX agent here

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Arf Arf

Drive Safe with Your Furry Companions
Drive Safe with Your Furry Companions

The drive to your new home can be the ultimate road trip for you and your pet. They probably won’t argue about your choice of music and they also won’t ask "are we there yet?" a million times (at least not in so many words). Still, the open road can present a wide range of dangers to our four-legged friends. Here are some tips to help keep them safe during your travels.
1. Vet check.
Take your pet for a checkup to be sure he or she is healthy enough to travel. If you’re crossing state lines, get an official health certificate to prove they are up to date on all vaccinations. Finally, pick up an extra supply of your pet’s meds, just in case you misplace them among everything else that’s stuffed in the car or U-Haul.
2. Check their ID.
Can you still read the engraving on your pet’s tag? Be sure the information is up-to-date and legible. Double check the information registered with your pet's microchip.
3. Practice.
Your dog may be used to riding along with you. Your cat, ferret or bunny? Likely not. Take them on short trips before you go so the big journey is less of a shocker.
4. Secure the carrier.
The safest place for a pet in a vehicle is in a crate in the back seat (away from the airbags). Secure it with a seatbelt so it won’t shift during sudden stops or turns. If they’re not used to a carrier, have them spend some “happy time” in it before hand, with treats and toys, so that it will be familiar. Your favorite pet store may also sell seatbelt attachments specifically made for your dog (our feline friends are out of luck).
5. Plan ahead.
Don’t find yourself stranded miles from the nearest pet-friendly hotel. Research and book accommodations ahead of time so you know exactly where your furry friend will be welcome.
6. Save time for roadside attractions.
You’ll need to stop every few hours for bathroom breaks anyway, so you might as well combine rest stops with parks good for strolling or lakes for a dip.
7. Don’t ever leave your pet alone in the car.
Even with the window cracked, temps can soar in moments. Your pet could also be stolen.
8. Bring a buddy.
Driving with another person means you’ll always have someone to help you adhere to tip #7.
Thinking of moving cross-country? Start by finding a RE/MAX agent

Monday, October 19, 2015

Inventory is tight in Wisconsin

September Homes Sales Up 13.1%
3rd Qtr Sales Up 12.5% 
Market Highlights
  • Strongest September in 10 years
  • Inventory Continues to Be Tight
  • Prices Up In All Counties 
October 14, 2015 - Home sales were up 13.1% in September in the Metropolitan Milwaukee market. 
1,738 homes sold in September compared to 1,537 in September of 2014.  Comparing the numbers to 2013, sales were up 17.1% (1,484 in '13).
The last time the metropolitan market saw over 1,700 sales in September was in 2005.

 Sales 2014
September Sales 2015% Change
4 County Area1,5371,73813.1%

Through the 3rd quarter, Washington County lead the region with a 20.4% increase in sales.  However, all four metropolitan counties saw very healthy gains in units sold, totaling 15,347 regionally.  The last time the market saw over 15,000 sales through the 3rd quarter was in 2006, when there were 15,803 sales. 

3rd Qtr Sales 2014
3rd Qtr Sales 2015% Change
4 County Area13,71415,34811.9%

The 2015 market can be characterized as very solid, with buyers quickly absorbing available listings since the beginning of the year.  The GMAR expects this trend to continue through the rest of the year.  Based on recent data it appears that total sales for 2015 will be approximately 18,827 units, about 9.8% ahead of 2014.

Listings Decrease
New listings have dropped the last two months (1.3% in August and 3.4% in September), but in the first nine months of 2015, five had listing increases.  Regardless, the extra volume they provided did not alleviate strong buyer demand, which still outstripped supply.
September Listings 2014
September Listings 2015% Change
4 County Area2,3202,240-3.4%

3rd Qtr Listings 2014
3rd Qtr Listings 2015% Change
4 County Area23,32723,6731.5%

The seasonally adjusted inventory level for June was 6.7 months, down from August's 7.0 month level.  The seasonally adjusted level was 8.2 months in September 2014.
Subtracting the 1,569 listings with an active offer from current listings results in an effective inventory level of 4.5 months for September.  A year ago, the same calculation showed September's inventory level at 5.9 months.
The decrease in inventory - by well over a full month in the last year - reveals just how tight the market is in 2015.  
Average Sale Price
Healthy increases in unit sales and tight inventory has expressed itself in higher prices.  The average sale price in all four counties was up solidly in the 3rd quarter.  Ozaukee County lead the way with an average sale price increase of $22,722, 8% ahead of 2015.

Avg Sale Price '14
Avg Sale Price '15$ Change% Change

While reasonable price gains are always welcome, the market has not completely recovered from a very deep recession.  Prices for the 3rd quarter in the 4-county region peaked with an average sale price of $258,922 in 2006, and bottomed out at $210,513 in 2012, an 18.7% drop.   The following table shows where each county is in the recovery and how much each needs to grow to get back to peak prices.
Average Sale Price for 3rd Quarter

CurrentBack to Peak
4 County Area2006$258,9222012$210,513$241,8397.1%

Hottest Markets
The following table shows the most popular communities in the region (with at least 75 unit sales), characterized by those that generally had an increase in units sold, an increase in average sale price, and a decrease in days-on-market (DOM).

CommunityAvg Sale Price '15Avg Sale Price '14Change in Units SoldChange in Sale Price% Sale Price ChangeChange in DOM
Menomonee Falls$267,543$263,0878%$4,4562%-9%
New Berlin$247,214$240,50619%$6,7083%-16%
Port Washington